JSP Records Releases 2 Blues Surround Sound SACDs in U.S. and 3 More in the U.K.

JSP Records, an independent record label in the U.K., has released 2 new Blues albums in Surround Sound Super Audio CD in the U.S, market. The new SACDs feature Blues artists Byther Smith and Guitar Shorty in classic blues performances that have been remixed into 5.1 Surround Sound and reissued on Hybrid Surround Sound SACDs.

In addition, the label has released 3 more Surround Sound Blues SACDs in the U.K. bringing their Super Audio CD catalog to 10. These three U.K. SACDs will be arriving in the U.S. market in Super Audio CD in April, May nd June.

Addressing The Nation With The Blues
Byther Smith
SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/CD Stereo

(JSP Records JSP 5106)

Byther Smith originally recorded this album in 1989 at Soto Studios in Chicago. Smith has been part of the Chicago Blues scene for many years and some critics say he has “a touch of B.B. King” in his playing.

JSP says that “Sometimes, it seems, every bluesman worth the name was born in Mississippi and worked out of Chicago. Byther Smith trod the path that many, like Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and Albert King had taken before him. Smith brings a Chicago intensity and attack to his work – especially on this, the album that confirmed him as a “blues discovery”. Featuring Byther Smith and his regular band, here is no-nonsense Chicago Blues in the honorable tradition of earlier blues giants.”

Album Musicians
Byther Smith – Vocals & Guitar
Tim McKinley – Piano & Keyboards
Charles Fisher – Rhythm Guitar
Manwell Burr – Saxophone
Bruce Felgen – Bass
George Hawkins – Drums

Album Tracks
1. What Have I Done
2. I’m Movin’ On
3. I Was Coming Home
4. What Is This
5. Looking For A Woman
6. Play The Blues On The Moon
7. I Wish My Mother Was Here
8. Hello Mrs Brown
9. Addressing The Nation With The Blues
10. You Should Be Proud Of Your Daughter
11. Put Your Arms Around Me

Addressing the Nation With The Blues features a New Stereo Mix and a 5.1 Surround Sound SACD mix by Martin Atkinson at M.A.R.S. Studios in England. As with earlier JSP Surround Sound SACDs, the mix is designed to place the listener in the middle of the band and it does so nicely. The vocals and drums are up front while Atkinson uses the Left and Right Surround channels for sax and rythmn guitar solos. The SACD was made by VIVA SACD in Hong Kong.

My Way or the Highway
Guitar Shorty with Otis Grand
SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/CD Stereo

(JSP Records JSP 5107)

My Way or the Highway was recorded in 1991 and is one of a series of releases on JSP Records that was produced by guitarist Otis Grand, himself an artist on the label. David Kearney, better known as “Guitar Shorty” is a blues artist who received his start playing the blues in clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area. On this album, he is teamed with a British Blues band.

JSP notes that “Nearly every blues and rock guitarist admits to a bit of Jimi Hendrix in their groove, but how about a man who influenced Hendrix! In the 1960s, already a veteran, married to Jimi’s sister, Shorty taught the young man for awhile. This SACD shows Guitar Shorty at his stunning, staggering, swaggering best and won a Handy Award at the time of its initial release.”

Album Musicians
David “Guitar Shorty” Kearney – Vocals & Guitar
Otis Grand – Guitar
Dan Quinton – Fender Bass
Daniel Strttmatter – Drums
Tony Ashton – Hammond B3 Organ
Mike Hobart – Baritone Sax
Peter Beck – Tenor & Alto Sax
Lorenzo Parry – Trumpet
Buzz Brown – Harmonca on “Kick Out”

Album Tracks
1. No Educated Woman
2. You Gave Me the Blues Baby
3. Shorty Jumps In
4. Down Thru’ the Years
5. Red Hot Mama
6. Hot & Saucy, Short & Grand
7. It’s Too Late
8. Kick Out
9. My Way or the Highway

My Way or the Highway features another fine 5.1 Surround Sound SACD mix by Martin Atkinson at M.A.R.S. Studios in England. As with the SACD by Byther Smith, it places the vocals and drums in the front channels with the sax and piano and the Surround channels. Track 3 (Shorty Jumps In) shows how effective this can be with the drums in the front channel and the sax in the left and right surround channels effectively playing off each other. Track 5 (Red Hot Mama) is another lively track which features a fine Surround Sound mix. The SACD was made by VIVA SACD in Hong Kong.

7 U.S. Blues SACD Releases
With the release of the new Byther Smith and Guitar Shorty Surround Sound SACDs, JSP now has 7 releases in their Contemporary Blues Super Audio CD series available in the U.S. market. The available releases are as follows:

  • James & Lucky Peterson – If You Can’t Fix It (JSP Records JSP 5100)
  • Jimmy Witherspoon featuring Hal Singer – Big Blues (JSP Records JSP 5101)
  • Carey Bell featuring Lurrie Bell – Harpslinger (JSP Records JSP 5102)
  • Lowell Fulson – Think Twice Before You Speak (JSP Records JSP 5103)
  • Buddy Guy – DJ Play My Blues (JSP Records JSP 5104)
  • Byther Smith – Addressing The Nation With The Blues (JSP Records JSP 5106)
  • Guitar Shorty with Otis Grand – My Way or the Highway (JSP Records JSP 5107)

    3 More JSP Surround Sound SACDs in the U.K.
    Since JSP Records is based in the U.K., the releases in their Contemporary Blues SACD series appear first in the U.K. and then a few months later in the U.S. That continues to be the case in 2005 with three additional Super Audio CDs hitting the market recently. Of note in this group are the albums by Bernard Allison and Michael Hill which are newly recorded sessions, making their debut on the label as Single Inventory Surround Sound Super Audio CDs. This is in contrast to earlier SACD releases from the label which have taken classic titles from the JSP catalog and bringing them out as reissues with new 5.1 Surround Sound SACD mixes.

    The 3 additional JSP SACDs now available in the U.K. and due out soon in the U.S. market are:

  • Deitra Farr – Let It Go! (JSP Records JSP 5105) [U.S. Release Date: April 19, 2005]
  • Bernard Allison, Larry McCary & Carl Weathersby – Triple Frets (JSP Records JSP 5108) [U.S. Release Date: May 10, 2005]
  • Michael Hill – Black Gold and Goddesses Bold (JSP Records JSP 5109) [U.S. Release Date: June 2005]

    The 7 Blues Surround Sound SACDs from JSP Records are now available in the U.S. through music stores that carry Blues artists including Tower Records. They are also available from web sites that carry Super Audio CDs including Acoustic Sounds, Elusive Disc and Music Direct. The 3 U.K. SACDs are now available in the U.K. at music stores and European web sites that carry SACDs such as Amazon.co.uk.